Ghana’s water sector needs clearly defined action plan – AHK report

By Iddi
Yire, GNA

Accra, Oct 25, GNA – The water sector in Ghana
needs a clearly defined action plan to solve its challenges, a study by a
Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), has revealed.

The study dubbed “Access to Clean
Drinking Water and Sustainable Management in Ghana”, was conducted from
May to October 2018, across the country.

It was carried by AHK Ghana, with support from
the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear
Safety’s BMU Environmental Technologies Export Initiative.

It aims to create a snapshot of the water
sector in the country giving an overview of the current situation, the trends
and conditions on site, and to inform industry stakeholders of the
opportunities available to them in the water and the waste water sector in the
country.

The study was launched in Accra by Nana Yaw
Osei-Wusu Afriyie, Project Manager, Energy and Environment, AHK Ghana.

AHK Ghana prepared the analysis of the study
using information obtained on a selective basis from desktop analysis, internet
research,  interviews with industry
stakeholders, technology providers, questionnaires, emails and phone calls.

Nana Afriyie said the national water coverage
rate is estimated at 63.15 per cent in 2012 based on provider estimates and 80
per cent in 2010 based on user surveys conducted by the Ghana Statistical
Service.

He said based on the provider-based estimates
for the national water coverage for 2012, about 36.85 per cent of Ghana’s
population is yet to be served with potable water as at 2012; adding that these
were mainly residents of rural areas, low income urban communities and
peri-urban areas.

Nana Afriyie said with an estimated increase
in population especially in urban areas, additional investments are expected to
be provided to meet future increase in demand for water services.

He said the study shows that in the majority
of urban areas, water was rationed due to a combination of high demand and
inadequate supply.

Challenges identified in the water sector by
the study include service delivery and water quality.

In order to address challenges facing the
water sector, the study recommended better linkage sector targets and funding
allocation.

It called for empowering district assemblies
to take full ownership of water service delivery through capacity building and
funding support.

The study also recommended that there is the
need to ensure synergy between the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA)
and the Ghana Water Company (GWCL) in implementing of projects to benefit from
economies of scale and avoid under – or over-laps in service areas.

It urged the Ministry of Sanitation and Water
Resources to collaborate with the Ghana Statistical Service to conduct a water,
sanitation and hygiene specific survey to provide the needed data not captured
under the national representative surveys.

On rural water supply, the study recommended
the need to revisit the implication on sustainability of removing the five per
cent community contribution to capital costs, and the closing of the funding
gap for rural water supply.

With regards to urban water supply, the study
recommended bringing tariffs in line with full-cost recovery, in parallel with
successful achievement of efficiency targets.

Dr Michael Blank, AHK-Ghana, urged nations to
give priority to the provision of clean water for their people, because it is a
basic necessity of life.

Ms Katharina Felgenhauer, Head of Competence
Centre Energy and Environment, AHK Ghana, said the organisation through its
Competence Centre for Energy and Environment, offers tailored market advice and
support services in the form of high-value market studies, fact-finding
missions, capacity building workshops, conferences and business-to-business matchmaking
to German companies looking to expand to Ghana and francophone West Africa.

Ms Noémie Simon, Regional Coordinator for AHK
West Africa, said at the moment the organisation had offices in Ghana and
Nigeria and that there were plans underway to expand into francophone West
Africa.

Mr Richard Ekow Mensah, Head of the
International Department, AHK Ghana, said with support from the German Federal
Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s BMU
Environmental Technologies Export Initiative, AHK Ghana would organise a
stakeholder workshop in November.

He said the workshop would facilitate a
professional and solution-oriented exchange between relevant actors from Ghana
and Germany.

GNA

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